Career pivot pays off for communication studies major
Transforming Lives: Learners of AU is an ongoing series where real students and alumni share how flexible online learning at Athabasca University made a difference in their lives and communities. Submit your story.
I’d like to take you on my educational journey. While the term is cliché, I want to emphasize how every journey is unique.
I thought my path was straight. I left high school adamantly knowing that I wanted to become a nurse and work in the health-care field. (Spoiler alert: I currently work as a director of marketing and communications for a non-profit organization.)
Exploring education and career opportunities
In 2010, I excitedly uprooted my life in Saskatchewan and moved to Alberta to pursue my bachelor of science degree through Medicine Hat College (MHC). After my first year in college, I was exposed to many different opportunities and career paths, some of which I never knew existed.
My previously straight path came to a yield where new directions were added. I decided to take a new path that led me to a global tourism and marketing diploma with a major in marketing. During this program, I was invited to an Athabasca University (AU) info session about how I could turn my diploma into a degree.
The possibility of transferring credits and further exposure to new classes and more opportunities excited me.
“The possibility of transferring credits and further exposure to new classes and more opportunities excited me.”– Dakota Buck (Bachelor of Professional Arts, Communication Studies Major ’16)
While I was finishing the last year of my diploma in Medicine Hat, I enrolled in the Bachelor of Professional Arts program through AU. The convenience of taking classes online allowed me to graduate from my diploma program, work part-time—and full-time after convocation—and relocate back to Saskatchewan.
Pivot to communication studies pays off
Changing directions and following a different path have opened many doors and opportunities. My resumé is now filled with a variety of career and development opportunities in different fields and I have Athabasca University to thank for this welcome change.
Post-secondary education is an opportunity to grow, but also an opportunity for exposure. The variety of classes available and even how classes are delivered is unique and accommodating.
Everyone has a different learning style but the major benefit of online courses for me was having the freedom to work, relocate, and pursue my passions in life, such as travelling.
My internal instinct is to plan—plan my future, my goals, and of course trips! The sudden change away from my initial high school career plan, while unexpected, was exactly what I needed. I look back with no regrets and am happy with where my path has led me.
I have a career in a non-profit organization and try to take an annual trip somewhere new so I can continue to learn and grow. Change is inevitable and being able to welcome the change, whether in the moment or the future, will never stop your path.